Beat Kyabram? Tigers a big chance

May 22, 2018

Steven Stroobants during the 2018 - WorkSafe Community Championships Seniors match between Ballarat FNL and Goulburn Vallery FL at the MCG. Photo by Luke Hemer.

IT’S our chance.

Rochester has been playing some solid football this Goulburn Valley League season.

It has come on the back of strong form from the backline, which has strangled a number of opposition forward lines, and the combination of Rhys Free and Steven Stroobants in the forward half which has seen the Tigers post some big scores.

Now comes the club’s biggest test – the undefeated juggernaut that is Kyabram.

Rochester have the chance to slay the dragon, with the Tigers heading to Kyabram in round seven of the GVL this Sunday.

Sitting fifth on the ladder, the Tigers have a lot of belief and coach James Flaherty says there is a good feeling around the club.

‘‘We’re pretty happy with the kind of football we have been playing,’’ he said.

‘‘Coming off our last game against United, we think we’re playing nicely at the moment.

‘‘Obviously those two teams are very different in terms of what they bring to the table with their football, but getting a good win and executing some of the plans we had, especially in our defensive end, it fills us with a lot of confidence in our ability as a team.’’

Though he is honest about the tough task that awaits his club at Kyabram.

‘‘We’ve been in the same boat as everyone else for the last two years in trying to find something to stop them,’’ he said.

‘‘No one is really sure what it will take, though we believe we will need to kick 11 or 12 goals to be in the game.’’

But there is a belief that Rochester’s style of football can find a way to break down the Bombers.

‘‘We think our style will work out in the game,’’ Flaherty said.

‘‘It’s not a question of how well our game plan matches up, I think it matches up pretty well with most clubs.

‘‘As it often is, the challenge is making sure that we execute well on the day.’’

The club will await this week’s training regarding the fitness of a number of players, including a number of key players.

‘‘It’s still very early in terms of planning,’’ he said.

‘‘But we are looking to hopefully get a few back this week. Rhys Free and Ashley Watson will be decided later in the week.’’

The club will also be relying on the inclusion of Stroobants, who may yet be required by North Melbourne’s VFL side.

Rochester has not lost a game when Stroobants has played for them this year, and they haven’t won without him in the line-up.

So the question is simply can the Tigers break the streak, or will they be just another name on Kyabram’s ledger.

It will be a tough game, but if the Tigers play their best football, they’re well and truly a chance.

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